Oct 8, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Activities, Dana Point, CA, Orange County, CA


I had an epiphany today.  Well, 2 actually.  The first, which I already knew but hadn’t found a succinct expression, is that the ocean is my church and I need to be baptized in its waters on a regular basis, or I just feel disconnected from life.  The second, that is somewhat related, is that I’m not sure what my place in the line up is anymore.  The “line up” is where we surfers gather to sit and wait for waves.  It is the lineup where the pecking order for who gets what waves occurs.

A question came to me, on this perfectly glorious day with crisp overhead waves and a light offshore breeze.  As I paddled into the lineup, I felt a sudden wonder at what is my place here?  I’m no longer one of those scrappy little groms, with endless energy, little respect for rules or age, prepared to paddle around everyone as a gnat might annoy a lion, knowing they are too small to be bitten.  I’m not an aspiring pro or a kid looking for a sponsorship from the local surf shop – confident with ability and holding respect from others who look on with admiration.  I’m not the cranky old guy, bitter from decade upon decade of seeing more people come into his lineup and surf better than him.  I’m not one of the guys with the cauliflower ears, whose pure aggression forged from the hours out of the water spent grounding and pounding, who very few people want to hassle.  And I’m certainly not the pretty surf girl, who woos wave benefactors through cunningly wearing flattering bikini bottoms with a wetsuit top, no matter how cold the water may be.

In times past I think I’ve shared elements of all these skills of line up dominance (I think I even wore a bikini once, but I don’t think it earned me any fans).  But now, I’m just grateful to be in a mellow lineup, feel the aquatic energy, and get 5-10 good waves in a session.  I can look on at others on a beautiful peeling wave, and be stoked for them, no longer critical of style or craft.  I think I’ve become “the friendly watcher”, happy to get a few good ones, and share the love of the ocean with the congregation.

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